Skull Base Surgery

skull-base-surgery

Beaumont’s skull base program includes a multi-disciplinary team of surgeons and clinicians who work in tandem to evaluate, diagnose, treat and recover their patients. The benefits of skull base surgery include a lower risk of infection, a lesser risk of disfigurement and the greatest opportunity to return to normal life.

Skull base surgery is a minimally invasive, highly specialized surgical approach for the treatment of benign or cancerous growths located on the underside of the brain, the base of the skull and the upper vertebrae of the spinal column.  Skull base surgery is often the preferred approach to repair congenital anomalies and malformations. Skull base surgeons use special instruments inserted through the skull’s natural openings (nose, mouth and above the eyes) to operate rather than accessing the brain through a surgical opening of the skull (craniotomy). 

Before the development of the minimally invasive skull base technique it was necessary to remove significant portions of the skull and/or facial musculature in order to gain entry into these areas.  In the past these invasive surgeries often left significant scarring.

Performing skull base surgery is extremely demanding because of the many important blood vessels and cranial nerves that pass through the anatomy.

Our team is staffed by a multidisciplinary team composed of:

  • neurosurgeons dedicated to skull base surgery
  • neuro-otologists
  • craniofacial surgeons with specialists in craniofacial plastic surgery and craniofacial ENT surgery
  • endovascular neuroendovascular specialist

On oncology cases, the skull base team also includes head and neck medical oncologists, nuclear medicine specialists and neuropathologists. This team participates actively in treatment planning through the tumor boards, including the Head and Neck Tumor Board and the Skull Base Tumor Board.


Beaumont's Skull Base Surgery Team

Performing skull base surgery is extremely demanding because of the many important blood vessels and cranial nerves that pass through the anatomy.

Our team is staffed by a multidisciplinary team composed of:

  • neurosurgeons dedicated to skull base surgery
  • neuro-otologists
  • craniofacial surgeons with specialists in craniofacial plastic surgery and craniofacial ENT surgery
  • endovascular neuroendovascular specialist

When is Skull Base Surgery Needed?

Skull surgeries are now designed to reduce risk to the brain by removing bone at the base of the skull so the surgical site can be approached from underneath rather than by moving the brain.

Read more

Beaumont’s Skull Base Clinic

The Skull Base Clinic treats patients who require a multidisciplinary approach and specializes in a wide array of diagnoses ranging from pituitary and skull base tumors to sinonasal malignancies.

Read more

Minimally invasive and image-guided surgical techniques

Whenever possible, Beaumont surgeons advocate the use of minimally invasive and image-guided surgical techniques. Along with intraoperative monitoring, these advanced procedures allow patients to spend less time in the operating room, spend less time in the hospital and recover more quickly.

More importantly, these newer techniques minimize the risk of damage to cranial nerves, so that patients suffer fewer neurological deficits and have less risk of in deficits in vision, swallowing, and hearing.

Anterior skull base surgery emphasizes the resection of complex tumors in and around the brain, nose and eyes, with an emphasis on maintaining minimal disruption of the brain, and preservation of normal neurologic function and normal vision. Procedures include:

  • resections of skull base tumors, including subcranial resections for tumors involving the craniofacial skeleton and air sinuses
  • reconstructions of craniofacial defects, both pediatric and adult, due to congenital anomalies or trauma
  • transnasal endoscopic approaches to the skull base for resection of tumors in and around the pituitary gland

Lateral skull base surgery emphasizes resection of tumors in and around the skull base and ear with the focus on functional preservation and hearing preservation. Procedures include:

  • endoscopic lateral skull base surgery for acoustic neuromas focusing on hearing preservation
  • endoscopic surgery for trigeminal neuralgia
  • endoscopic surgery for hemifacial spasm
  • resection of tumors in and around the brain stem and the cranial nerves that control hearing, balance, facial movement, swallowing and speech